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If you play sports—or if your child plays sports—you probably know how important it is to wear a mouthguard. A custom mouthguard can protect your falling out, cracking, and chipping. Your dentist can even create a custom mouthguard that will offer you more comfort and protection.

But, aside from the risk of damaging your teeth, did you know that athletes can experiences problems with their oral health—and that these problems could affect their play.

For example, many athletes suffer from dry mouth. While this may not seem like a major problem, it actually can be. Saliva is very important to your overall oral health: it carries away food particles and reduces acid buildups. In fact, dry mouth can lead to decay and gum disease, reduce your ability to fight bacteria, and cause bad breath.

This means it’s very important for you to keep your saliva levels normal. Drinking is one major thing you can do to replace the fluid in your body and keep your mouth moist. While some athletes use sports drinks to replace their electrolytes. However, they also contain sugar, which can also lead to tooth decay. Conversely, water can provide you with a variety of benefits without putting your smile in danger.

Another way you can increase saliva flow is chew gum. However, please don’t just choose any gum—make sure the gum you find has the ADA Seal and is sugar-free. It is important to choose sugar-free gum because the more your teeth are exposed to sugar, the more prone your smile will be to tooth decay.

Finally, if you are experiencing a toothache or pain in your mouth, please contact your dentist. This aching can interfere with your sleep, which can have a negative impact on your performance. If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.